How long will PM continue to save tainted ministers: Priyanka on Ajay Mishra's remarks on farm leader

Ajay Kumar Mishra called farmer leader Rakesh Tikait a 'second-rate person'; his son is allegedly involved in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence in which four farmers were mowed down by a car last year.
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. (File Photo)
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. (File Photo)

NEW DELHI: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday slammed Union Minister Ajay Kumar Mishra for his "dogs bark or chase the car" remark and asked for how long will Prime Minister Narendra Modi continue to save "tainted ministers".

Facing demand for his resignation over the alleged involvement of his son in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence last year, Mishra said he is not answerable to people like Rakesh Tikait and called the farmer leader "do kaudi ka aadmi" or a second-rate person.

In a video apparently of a speech made to his supporters, Mishra dismissed allegations levelled against him.

"Suppose I am going to Lucknow in a car which is at a good speed; dogs bark on the road or chase the car. It's their nature, I will not say anything about that as we do not have this nature. When things come to the fore, I will answer everyone. I am very confident because of your support," Mishra, who is the Union Minister of State for Home, said.

Slamming Mishra for his remarks, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi said, "Look at the effect of the intoxication of protection of power. The Minister of State for Home Affairs is making one statement after another degrading the farmers. He had threatened the farmers even before the Lakhimpur farmers' massacre."

"For how long will the prime minister continue to save tainted ministers? For how long will you continue to encourage this language of abuse?" she said in a tweet in Hindi.

On October 3 last year, eight people, including four farmers and a journalist, were killed in the violence at Tikunia village here during a farmer protest against the visit of Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya to Mishra's village in Lakhimpur Kheri district.

In this case, Mishra's son Ashish Mishra has been arrested as the main accused.

"People keep raising questions. There are also 'bevakoof patrakaar' (stupid journalists) who have no relationship with journalism and want to create confusion by such 'ulti-seedhi baat' (unfounded things)," Mishra is heard saying in the video.

"I know Rakesh Tikait very well, he is a 'do kaudi ka aadmi' (second rate person). He fought elections twice and lost deposit. If this kind of a man opposes anyone, it is of no value and so I do not answer to such people as it is of no relevance," Mishra said.

Led by Tikait, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) staged a 75-hour long dharna in Lakhimpur last week to press for various demands, including the sacking of Mishra.

"He (Tikait) is doing politics in this manner and running his livelihood. They will be given a reply at the right time," Mishra is heard telling BJP workers in the video apparently in his Kheri constituency.

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The New Indian Express